This week I must admit I am feeling more of a “rant” coming on than a straight devotional… although I do believe it should be the most comforting, encouraging, and empowering thing I could talk about…
The game is won! We are victorious in Christ! He has paid the debt in whole! (The fancy word for this is “propitiation”: meaning that through Christ the Father/Judge is pleased/satisfied – sin is atoned for!)
I know, I know … most of you are reading this and saying, “Duh, I know that.” But my question is why so many preachers and teachers teach as though it wasn’t enough?
When a substitute goes into the game all of his points count! The player that is subbed for does not have to go back in and re-make the shots…
Jesus scored the only goal that could win the game (the payment for sin) when He died on the cross! There is nothing else to pay! We do not get salvation by promising to “play better” or by committing to be “better players”! Salvation is based upon trusting in the Substitute’s payment! “Jesus paid it all…”
I know the song goes on to say “…all to Him I owe.” But that is not because we are trying to please or satisfy the judge! That is because we are thankful and motivated by the Judge’s mercy and grace. Yes, God wants us to live holy lives and “play better” because He wants and knows what is best for us. He is not calling for our holiness from His seat as the Judge but instead from His seat as our Father/Coach – the One that is on our side and wants what is best for us. The Judge is satisfied!
Let’s make sure we are clear in our message to the lost that a full payment has been made on their behalf: and not insinuate that they have something they owe to God.
John 3:18 is clear on the issue of the Gospel!
Ephesians 2:8-9 is clear on the Gospel!
Let’s celebrate and be motivated by what Christ has done for us! (Read Ephesians 2:1-4 and truly think about the words “But God…” that are found in verse 4… think about what He has done! I love how Eugene Peterson worded it in The Message: “Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.”
You don’t have to score to win the game! But I do encourage you to trust the Coach that loved you enough to take care of it for you. Allow His Word (our Playbook) to transform you and direct your steps.